Ugh. I received a bill this week from the university I’ll be attending in January. Getting my Bachelor’s degree isn’t going to be cheap. My first semester is going to cost me $1400, and that’s for a grand total of two courses. I know it could be worse – there are a lot of college options that are a lot more expensive. However, I’m used to community college, where I could take a single course for around $300. And I haven’t even figured the cost of books into that $1400 bill yet, either.
I decided to look around the intranet at work to see if my employer offers any kind of tuition assistance, and it looks like that don’t. My next stop is researching financial aid and grants. I don’t really want to go the financial aid route, since at most I plan on taking 4 classes a semester, but I want to know my options. And grants – I know you don’t have to pay them back, but you typically have to qualify, income wise, right? That’s probably not going to work.
Then it hit me – scholarships! Completely free money that doesn’t need to be paid back, and I don’t need to worry about qualifying by being broke as a joke. I registered and did a quick free college scholarship search online at Scholarships.com – I’ll be honest, it did take a few minutes. You need to input your name, address, school information, grade information, etc so that you can be matched with the right kind of scholarships. As a white female who is a junior going into social work, I’ll see different options than a freshman football player going into sports medicine…which makes sense. Once my registration was complete, I had instant access to scholarships and grants that matched my needs and interests. The search results screen gives you all of the info you need to know at a glance – deadlines, how much the scholarship is for, and the name of the scholarship. You can click on the title link of each scholarship and learn about the requirements, for instance, what you need to do to apply, or who the scholarship caters to.
I was amazed at how many options there are, ranging from $500 to thousands of dollars worth of free money for college. I can mark scholarships as a favorite to narrow down my list, or create a custom application letter, which is pre-populated with my details and the contact information for the scholarship I’m interested in. This system makes it SO easy to find scholarships and apply for them – what could have taken me months is only going to take me a few hours online.
I can’t even tell you how relieved I am – now to apply and get my tuition covered!